poetry, prose, and image by Brittney S Holland

Friday, November 5, 2010

If Simon were a parrot...

I'd teach him to say, "Hello, Beautiful!"

I have a confession to make. I am forty-one, have been married for fifteen years, and I still keep a Christmas card I received from a boy I knew in college. Why? Because it is the only unsolicited, tangiable proof I have that someone, somewhere once thought I was beautiful. That boy told me so in a card. We never dated.

My own husband, however, can't bring himself to tell me that I'm beautiful. He says it feels unnatural, forced. But it's not a matter of diction or his innate mode of expression. He frequently uses this word when he speaks of the weather. Frankly, I don't think he can bring himself to tell me I'm beautiful because he doesn't believe it to be true. Trust me. He can be painfully honest. The last time I tried to talk to my husband about this, he asked if anyone has ever told me that I'm beautiful.

The rest of my life seemed a long time to wish I were beautiful...until I discovered Karen Walrond's blog Chookooloonks. Her posts, her breathtaking photographs have helped me begin to heal my longings for beauty and being thought beautiful. Thanks to her blog, I have begun to see glimmers of the beauty she and others might find in me. And it is on the heels of my budding beauty awareness that Karen posted a new challenge, one I've decided to accept.

It's a self-portrait project designed to challenge readers to "reflect on our perceptions of ourselves, and start really seeing how beautiful [we] really are." So, for the next four weeks, I'll be taking a self-portrait every day, and I'll post these here on Simon Says on my new Self-Portrait page. Personally, I've always preferred to be behind the lens; this WILL be a challenge for me! But Karen says it's okay to take pictures of our feet, our hands, or whatever (so of course, my portraits may include Simon)...as long as I'm somewhere in the photograph. Good news for those days when I'm feeling exceptionally UNphotogenic. Stay tuned...let's see what I can do with this.

Oh, and check out her new book The Beauty of Different. The badge above is modeled after its cover. This one's on my Christmas list! And I've already picked a spot on a high shelf, far from the jowls of my mischevious weimy pup.

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